Hwasong-18 ICBM launched in North Korea
Hwasong-18 ICBM launched in North KoreaKCNA via REUTERS

North Korea confirmed on Thursday it test-fired a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) the previous day, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing the North’s official KCNA news agency.

According to the report, the launch was supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who vowed to take military offensive action until the US abandons its “hostile policy” against Pyongyang.

The North said the missile flew 1,001 kilometers for 4,491 seconds at a maximum altitude of 6,648 km before splashing into the East Sea.

The confirmation comes a day after both Japan and South Korea reported that North Korea had fired an unspecified ballistic missile toward the East Sea.

The launch comes amid tensions between the US and North Korea, as the North has intensified its missile launches in recent months, with some triggering emergency warning systems in parts of Japan.

The country tested dozens of ballistic weapons in 2022, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017.

In May, North Korea failed in test firing what it described as a “space satellite”, which plunged into the sea after the botched launch.

Earlier this week, North Korea denounced a move by the United States to introduce a nuclear missile submarine to waters near the Korean peninsula, saying it creates a situation that brings a nuclear conflict closer to reality.

Hours later, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of the North Korean leader, claimed a US spy plane had strayed into North Korean airspace and promised that her country would respond "decisively" if the US military breached its airspace again.